Higher priced Polo could succeed if it offers premium and best-in-class features
Globally, Volkswagen Polo is in its sixth generation that was unveiled in 2017. In comparison, India has the fifth generation Polo, which was launched way back in 2010. It is expected that fifth generation Polo will continue to soldier on for a couple more years. Volkswagen is yet to decide on Polo’s future in the Indian market, but it’s expected that a new-gen variant can make its way here by 2023.
Next-gen Polo could use MQB-A0-IN platform
Sixth-gen Volkswagen Polo utilizes the MQB-A0 platform, which is the smallest modular platform currently in use by the company. This platform has already been localised and is referred to as MQB-A0-IN. This India-specific platform will be used for upcoming SUVs such as Volkswagen Taigun and Skoda Kushaq. They will take on South Korean bestsellers Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos.
Although the MQB-A0-IN platform used on Taigun and Kushaq is longer than 4 meters, it can be shortened to less than four meters to accommodate India-spec new-gen Polo.
It is to note that sixth-gen Polo available in international markets is longer than four meters. The only concern for Volkswagen is that new-gen Polo in India could become a bit costlier, as compared to the outgoing model.
But with the brand following Polo has, it will be surprising if Volkswagen does not launch a localized version of next gen Polo in India. The premium hatchback segment registers sales of 40k units every month.
Polo vs. rivals – price comparison
Polo has a niche fan following and it lacks the volumes that rivals like Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai i20 have. As of February 2021, Polo is also trailing behind Tata Altroz and Toyota Glanza in terms of sales. It is difficult to ascertain what kind of impact higher pricing will have on new-gen Polo sales.
To get a positive response, Volkswagen will have to equip new-gen Polo with a range of premium and best-in-class and/or first-in-segment features. In this space, Hyundai i20 is currently one of the well-equipped cars in terms of its range of features.
Current Polo model is priced in the range of Rs 6.01 lakh to Rs 9.92 lakh. In comparison, rivals Baleno and Altroz have lower starting price of Rs 5.88 lakh and Rs 5.69 lakh respectively. The one with highest starting price is Honda Jazz at Rs 7.55 lakh. The costliest top-spec variant is that of Hyundai i20, priced at Rs 11.18 lakh.
Car prices have been consistently increasing, so these hatchbacks are likely to get costlier in the future. For new-gen Polo with updated features, a price range of Rs 8 lakh to Rs 12 lakh could be a decent estimate.
Polo current model is offered with two petrol engine options, a 1.0 litre MPI and 1.0 litre turbo unit. Power and torque output is 76 ps / 95 Nm and 110 ps / 175 Nm, respectively. Transmission options include 5-speed manual for MPI engine and 6-speed manual / automatic for the turbo motor.